Thursday 23 June 2011

Glasgow Jog Scotland 5k

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Last night I set myself the challenge to Walk, Jog or Run a 5k at Glasgow Green.

My main targets prior to arrival were to win the race, and to finish in under 17 minutes. However, I soon spotted Chris Black, Russell Whittington, Euan Geddes and Greig Glendding warming up, so figured 4th of 5th might be a more likely finish.

Photo courtesy of Great Scott Photography

The race started with a mad sprint to a very sharp, almost 180°, left hand turn. I assumed I'd be first to this turn, but Chris Black set off even faster. I tracked Chris for about 400 metres to the next sharp left turn, before Russ and Euan both went by. I tucked in behind Russell and Euan, thinking I might be able to stay with them.

This plan of sitting in 4th place worked up until 2km when Greig Glendining suddenly caught me and powered straight past. I failed to match his pace and was quickly passed by Gary Hester as well.

The 180° turn at 2.7km marked the faraway point of the course before the run back to the finish. I struggled to get going again after the turn I was feeling a bit weary, so got caught by Bruce Carmichael and Derek Govan. I really felt like I was going backwards by this staqe, but I decided to speed up when we got to the 3km mark. Unfortunately I felt flat and empty, and couldn't respond, so resigned myself to 8th position.

However, once inside the last kilometre I finally got round to looking at my watch and realised that sub 17 minutes was going out the window unless I started some sort of insane sprint. My intention wasn't to catch anyone in particular, but as soon as I changed my pace I was suddenly closing on Bruce and Derek who I caught inside the last 100 metres, and almost closed down Greig on the line.

So in the end I finished 6th in 17:09, which was my fastest 5km since 2007.

Friday 17 June 2011

Kirkintilloch 10k

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A nice calm mild night at Kirkintilloch for the canalbank 10k.

I suspected I could run a bit quicker than my 37:57 from last year, and only noticed 2 runners definitely faster than me before the start. I had a vague plan to aim for sub 35 minutes, if I could somehow raise my game from the Polaroids.

I started as fast as possible and lead for 150 metres before Paul Sorrie went by. It took another couple of hundred metres before Robert Gilroy caught me, and I followed him down onto the canal towpath. 600 metres into the race and I figured I was now in for a long haul to hang on for 3rd spot. I could hear puffing and panting behind but wasn't sure who would be the first to challenge. I had one challenge from a guy in green vest, but he quickly faded, so I pressed on tying to imagine I was catching Robert Gilroy, rather than worrying about what was going on behind.

At about 7km I finally had my first serious challenge when Donald Cameron of Clydesdale reeled me in. Donald had recently beaten me at the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Polaroids, so I was now resigned to finish 4th. However when Donald went by he didn't press on, so I just tracked him until the 9km marker and then drifted past again and opened up a 12 second gap.

So in the end I did finish 3rd in 35:19, which is my best placing in a 10k race for while.

Images courtesy of Great Scott Photography

Sunday 12 June 2011

Vale of Leven 10k

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Good conditions for the final race in the Polaroid 10k Series - dry, mild and no wind.

There was some confusion just before kick-off when somebody noticed the 2 Eritreans had forgotten to collect their timing chips. It looked like there might be some delay when suddenly a hooter sounded which caught everyone by surprise, and only after a few seconds was there a reaction and we realised that the race had started.

In the confusion, I actually got away quite quickly and was in around 10th position running through Balloch at the start chatting with Russ Whittington. Once into the Park I was caught by Paul Thompson. I tried to run with Paul, but once again he was too strong for me. I was also caught and passed by Nick Reid, Fiona Matheson and Steven Prentice.

The route this year was improved with the return leg along the cycle path beside the River Leven. Here I tracked Adam Taylor of Garscube (who strangely doesn't appear in the results), and eventually passed him with a mile to go. My only real aim was to get properly under 36 minutes, and I didn't expect to catch anyone else, but in the closing 100 metres I suddenly realised I could maybe get back to Steven Prentice of Bella Harriers, so gave it a bit of a full blown sprint and passed him at speed about 6 inches before the blue mats at the finish.

I finished 18th with a gun time of 35:37 and 4th M40, so was quite pleased that all 4 races were between 35:20 and 35:45.

Images courtesy of Great Scott Photography

Thursday 2 June 2011

Dumbarton 10k

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I was feeling tired and groggy with a cold before starting, so wasn't expecting much from this run.

It's not a pleasant feeling when you get to 7km and realise there's nothing left. No fight. No last big effort. Just a plodding pace and waiting for it to be over. The local neds were making us look silly on the last km, by sprinting along past us just to demonstrate how slowly we were going.

At 9.5km I normally ramp it up to a big sprint finish, but tonight I was just feeling horribly washed out. I momentarily went past Nick Reid, in fact I think I passed him twice, but neither time with any conviction. There was a cluster of runners just in front as I crossed the line, including Nick, Scott Kennedy and Paul Thompson. As soon as I stopped if felt so wrecked and had to lie on the ground for about 5 minutes before I could move again.

I finished 24th in 35:45, which was a good bit slower than Clydebank and Helensburgh.